19 March 2011

Yesterdays Lifer...ARGENTINA (18 March)





Having disembarked and said our farewells to the expedition staff in Ushuaia yesterday after our Antarctic adventure Pablo and I could not resist a foray up nearby Martial Glacier that looms large behind the town. The possibility of another lifebird awaited near the icy glacier. We hopped on the chairlift, legs dangling below and eyed the scree above for that would be our destination. Soon we stomping and sliding through scree, scanning the rocky slopes and cushion plants for our quarry the rare Yellow-bridled Finch, a small songbird that is supposedly "readily seen" in the area. After a few hours with literally no birds I lost a little hope and just started enjoying being in such a great setting, where the icy glacier loomed behind, and a turn of 180 degrees would bring wonderful views of Ushuaia far down below perched on the edge of the legendary Beagle Channel that we had traversed that morning on our return from Antarctica. But then I went on a mad mission and saw a rocky slope dotted with grassy tussocks that looked like classic finch habitat. So off I went scrambling up it until a tiny high-pitched call drifted to my ears. This went on for five minutes and scanning the rocks brought me no nearer the elusive culprit, then suddenly there was a movement and a bird with a charcoal throat patch and yellow flashes in the tail reveled itself-a marvelous male Yellow-bridled Finch. Then I went back to admiring the views and finished off our wonderful End of the World adventure with Pablo washing our memories down with a lovely bottle of Argentine Merlot!

Lengthy Antarctica recap up next...

1 comment:

Mary said...

Such delicious scenes in these images. Such beauty shared~